Young Vic launches multi-cam theatre streaming
James R | On 15, May 2021
With theatres closed in the past year during the coronavirus pandemic, streaming productions online, whether live or pre-recorded, has become an increasingly widespread way for theatres to reach audiences. Now, as they start to reopen this week, several are filming their productions to stream them virtually as well as to audiences in-person. The Young Vic, however, is doing something a little bit different.
Best Seat in Your House is a new immersive, multi-camera broadcast that will give audiences a choice of views while streaming.
The innovative step offers a new experience with every watch, as audiences can sit in the virtual Director’s Chair – a feature that’s similar to sitting in the editing gallery at a TV studio, with control of switching between multiple live streams. Viewers can cut between any of the cameras placed around the theatre at any time throughout the live performance.
Alternatively, the Director’s Cut option delivers a more traditional live edit of the show from the theatre to the screen, created with the show’s director and mixed by the production team.
The broadcast experience for each show will be designed bespoke for the production, with cameras positioned to offer exciting perspectives of live shows. A robo-camera rig with multiple cameras will be constructed around the auditorium to capture the performance, and these feeds will be broadcast online. Camera operators will control the robo-cameras, continually ensuring every shot gives a new perspective of the show.
The aim is to eventually incorporate behind-the-scenes action too, so that audiences can see how the production team makes the on-stage magic happen.
Captions, audio description and British Sign Language will be available for every performance, with phones, tablets laptops and TV casting all supported.
Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah says: “As the pandemic year saw us engage with theatre in online spaces, I’ve been grappling with how technology could be used to heighten the liveliness that sits at the heart of the in-person theatre experience. How can we make our audience feel part of the show from their homes? How can we make the experience as flexible and accessible as possible? These are questions that shape the Young Vic’s mission as a theatre, and so must naturally extend to our digital offer.
“With Best Seat in Your House, we’ve taken a bold step into the future of the theatre-streaming experience. We’ve put choice at the heart of every element, giving audiences the space to engage with our streamed work in an entirely new way.”
Changing Destiny will be the first show the theatre will broadcast with its new streaming system. Dates and ticket information, plus future productions, will be announced soon.